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Pregnancy and Sickle Cell Disease

Posted in Blog, Prenatal Misdiagnosis on December 09, 2008

With so many factors that could go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s a wonder that so many children are born with absolutely no health problems or physical deformities. But, unfortunately, there are problems during childbirth and during pregnancy that can leave babies with conditions and disorders for the rest of their lives.

A condition known as “sickle cell disease” is one genetic disorder that can be detected by a simple blood test of the mother during her pregnancy. If either the mother or father is at increased risk for the sickle cell trait, a blood test should be offered by the obstetrician to detect the presence of the sickle cell trait in the baby.

Sickle cell disease involves a group of inherited blood disorders in which the red blood cells have an abnormal, rigid, sickle-like shape. This disease can result in interruption of blood flow and prevent oxygen from reaching tissues and organs. A very common form of sickle cell disease is “sickle cell anemia,” where there is a shortage of red blood cells circulating through the body because sickle cells die prematurely. There is no cure for sickle cell disease at the present time and this disease does last for a lifetime.

Children born with sickle cell disease will have special needs as the symptoms range from mild to severely debilitating. Children will require medical monitoring over the course of their lifetime, and often times, sickle cell children will require multiple hospitalizations. This, of course, can be rather costly.

If your child was born with sickle cell disease that could have been detected prior to the birth with a simple blood test, you may have valid legal claim of failed prenatal diagnosis. If you live in New Jersey or a surrounding area, please contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Weiss & Paarz, P.C. today to schedule your confidential, no-cost consultation.

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